As more Filipinos go hungry amid the COVID-19 pandemic, a Manila resident set up a table along P. Noval Street near the University of Santo Tomas (UST) where those in need can get free grocery items.
The table, dubbed as the “P. Noval Community Pantry,” is packed with vegetables, rice, canned goods, and packs of instant noodles.
“Magbigay ayon sa kakayahan, kumuha batay sa pangangailangan,” a sign displayed on the table read.
Toots Vergara, one of the managers of Mang Tootz Food House, said he was inspired by the community pantry set up along Maginhawa Street in Quezon City.
“Huwag mahiyang kumuha, nandoon lang po iyon (Do not be shy to get some items, they’ll just be there),” he said in his Facebook post.
Vergara encouraged those living nearby to drop off their spare grocery items so they can help others. The table will be open to receive donations everyday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
The Manila resident also said that he hopes more people will be inspired to set up community pantries in their neighborhoods to help their fellow residents amid the pandemic.
“Kung sakaling malayo ka naman, pwede ka magsimula ng community pantry sa inyong lugar, tulad nung ginawa namin kasi ginaya lang namin ‘yung Maginhawa (In case you live far away, you can start your own community pantry in your respective places like what we did, because we just copied the one in Maginhawa),” he added.